School Holidays in the UK

A calendar of the school terms in the United Kingdom: all the dates when the state schools close for vacation...

The school year in the United Kingdom is 39 weeks (195 days) long in duration. The number of school days in the year is comparable to Australia and the United States, but has fewer days than in Japan and Germany.

For many regions of the UK the school year is divided into six terms as follows:

  • September to October
  • October to December
  • January to February
  • February to March
  • April to May
  • June to July

Some areas of England have only three terms in the school year.

The dates of the school terms and holidays are decided by each local government authority, governing body of the school or the school itself for independently governed schools.

Children typically attend school from 08:55 to 15:15, although these times can vary.

School Holidays

The main school holidays are:

  • Christmas (two weeks)
  • Spring (two weeks)
  • Summer (six weeks)

Additionally there are one week holidays at the end of October, mid February and at the end of May.

School holidays in London

  • To find school holiday dates in London or elsewhere in the UK: Click here and select your region

Compulsory Schooling

Typically children in the UK start Primary School at age four to five, dependent on when their birth date falls. Many schools now run what they call a reception year for four-year olds. Children are legally required to start attending school at the start of the term after their fifth birthday either on 31 August, 31 December or 31 March, however they can start earlier than this.

Children in England are required to attend school until the age of 16 years. In England, compulsory school ends on the last Friday in June during the school year in which a student reaches the age of 16. The government has proposed requiring students to receive some form of education or training until the student is 18-years old. This is expected to be phased in by 2015.

Further Information

  • For information on school-term dates and school holidays: Click here